Friday, December 11, 2015


By Brandon Sanderson

Newcago is free.
They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart—invincible, immortal, unconquerable—is dead. And he died by David’s hand.
Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.
Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it’s the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David’s willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hold in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

Once more, I listened to the audiobook, and I loved it. This was not just amazingly narrated, but the story itself was intense, funny, and full of shocks that I loved and simultaneously screamed at. I started this series knowing that the last book was coming out in 5 months, but I didn’t realize how much I would get involved in the series and now I am stuck waiting until February and having to practice my patience. I loved the dynamic and how it changed from a revenge story to a story about understanding and problem solving. David’s character growth is awesome. I’ve never cared much for revenge stories, but this turned into a story about people, fears, love, friendship, and where true power really lies. I can’t really delve into the story without spoiling the amazing surprises in store for the readers. This had all the right touches for me personally. I laughed out loud, I gasped, I froze, and even teared up a little. If you are looking for a great read, perhaps if you enjoyed Michael Vey or I Am Number 4, this is a great follow-up (It’s way better than those books, but similar in tone).

I give it a 4.5 out of 5

And Now You Know

By Larry E. Morris

And Now You Know presents fifty behind-the-scenes stories of prominent Church members you only thought you knew.
In this rare collection, author Larry E. Morris reveals startling true experiences in a “rest-of-the-story” format that will keep you guessing as each tale unfolds. Who was responsible for the tragic accident that caused his younger brother’s blindness? Which General Relief Society president endured the loss of her eldest son in a violent Indian attack? Who tenderly cared for her deaf sister during the last twenty-five years of her life while shouldering enormous responsibilities as the wife of a church president?
Each story recalls a forgotten fact from Church history and provides a lesson in faith, courage, and determination. Well documented and presented, And Now You Know opens little-known corners of the past, providing an interesting and personal look at experiences of prominent member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This was an anthology of stories about actual people who lived and their stories of faith within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was formatted in such a way that you were introduced to the character without knowing their name and then after a few pages you were told the rest of the story as the name was revealed. Some of the names I knew very well, and others I’d never heard. It was a nice short read with a lot of entertaining and inspiring stories.

I give it a 3.25 out of 5 

Wednesdays in the Tower

By Jessica Day George

Wednesday at Castle Glower is an ordinary, ho-hum sort of day. No new hallways, no extra turrets, no sudden changes. At least according to Princess Celie, who knows the Castle better than anyone. So Celie is surprised when, one Wednesday, she happens upon a new tower, with a new room, and a giant orange egg hidden inside.
Celie doesn’t know what to do, and neither does her brother bran, the new Royal Wizard. But the Castle knows. As staircases spring up and doorways disappear, the Castle’s plan becomes clear: Celie is to care for the egg and whatever creature is hatches! Of course, she hadn’t bargained for a pet, and this one will prove tricky, once Celie and her siblings realize what else the Castle is hiding…

It’s rather easy to know what creature hatches from the egg in the book summary because it’s on the cover. I kinda wish that it hadn’t been so prominent. I had such a fun time reading the first book and especially enjoy Jessica Day George’s tone of warmth and quirky magic. This second book is equally fun to read, Celie is a great protagonist, full of friendship and belief and trust. She’s in for quite the ride when asked to raise a Gryphon, an animal everyone assumed was a myth. As Celie tries to hid her new pet from her family, she makes discoveries that may point to a larger plot at hand. Why has a wizard come to stay with them when her brother is the royal wizard? What is he looking for? And why does everyone feel like he’s big trouble?

I give this a 3 out of 5- it was average. Fun to read, but not as good as the first. 

The Help

By Kathryn Stockett

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who’s always taken orders quietly, but lately she’s unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She’s full of ambition, but without a husband, she’s considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town.

I typically stay away from Best Sellers, because from past experience they tend to cross lines that I like just where they are thank you very much. I only read this after I asked people who had read it and know my preferences and decided to try it out. I was warned there was language, and boy howdy there is quite a lot of language. No ‘F’ words, but plenty of the usual in the profanity department. There was also a brief mention of rape, so subtle you could almost miss it. Though, I definitely did not. There is spousal abuse, though it is only portrayed with the next day bruises.
After reading this book I understood why it has been such a phenomenon. It deals with racial discrimination, the sexism of the 60s, and what it is to be different in a place that eats unique people alive. Told from 3 perspectives, Minny, Aibileen, and Skeeter, it’s a story about courage and change. It’s beautifully written, and easy to understand. It’s a book that I found myself both impressed with and sad about. I always get uneasy when reading historical fiction that makes me wonder about humanity. I always hope that if I were to have lived in these sorts of times that I would’ve had the courage to stand by truth and right. This is an interesting way to look at a time in history when things were so chaotic and people really thought the world was going to end and it wouldn’t get better. It’s really about how we’re all the same in the ways that matter. We all have people that treat us badly, we all have problems, we all have insecurities. It’s a good book, and I understand why it was so highly acclaimed.

I give it a 3.5 out of 5- above average but also less than I was expecting for such a wide-read book.